I’ve been doing CrossFit as an Adaptive Athlete for about 2 years after receiving an exoskeletal device called “ExoSym” for my right leg. I was born with a severe clubfoot and as I got older my leg deteriorated until I was in constant pain just watching life pass me by in my 20s unable to stand long, walk far, or run at all. The Exosym absorbs the impact when I walk, run, jump, etc. and allows me to do things I NEVER thought would be possible – like CrossFit!
I joined Industrious in the midst of the 2017 CrossFit Open while I was competing in the Wheelwod Open and LOVED the energy at Friday Night Lights!! Wheelwod is a non-profit organization that (along with Seminars, Coaching, and more) develops CrossFit workouts for seated athletes and have been adapting the CrossFit Open workouts for several years now. This year, teaming up with the equally incredible organization Crossroads Adaptive Athletic Alliance, they expand the Open workouts to include standing athletes and decided to host an online competition for all of us. Over 100 athletes registered for the Wheelwod Open! Athletes were placed into one of three categories: Seated, Standing Upper, and Standing Lower divisions. I am classified as a “Lower Limb Salvage” athlete and competed in the Standing Lower RX division. Every CrossFit Open workout was adjusted as necessary to adapt to having a lower limb limitation for us. For example, on 17.2 instead of 50 ft DB walking lunges we did 100ft overhead DB walks… weights weren’t adjusted at all during the Open, only the movement standards and it was brutal to say the least 🙂
I ended up placing 2nd in my division and qualified for the online Regionals which will be the top 3 Female Standing Upper, top 2 Female Standing Lower, and 1 Wildcard athlete competing to qualify for the Reebok UG Series Competition in July taking place in Ontario, Canada! This is my third CrossFit competition, and first online comp. I’ve taken place in two Adaptive Competitions called the “Working Wounded Games” in 2015 and 2016 and will be participating in the Renton CrossFit Games (my first able-bodied comp) the same weekend I’ll be doing the Wheelwod Regional Workouts eek!
Regional workouts will take place over a 6 day period Mid-May and I’m really excited to crank these WODs out at Industrious!! I’ve already learned so many new techniques from the coaches to maximize my abilities and work around my limitations that I know I’ll be able to push myself even harder than before! I’ve only been at Industrious for a few weeks now but it feels like forever – it really is one big family that genuinely cares for one another and celebrates a PR no matter what it is with sincerity and some serious excitement. I’m really excited to see where this journey takes me… which will hopefully be to Canada… or maybe even the CrossFit Games one day if we can continue to push HQ to include an Adaptive Division!!